November 2019 may be just over four years ago, but in the world of the royal family, it seems like a lifetime has passed since then. Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth were still alive. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were still working members of the royal family (though not for much longer). There were no health scares that we knew of, and even Prince Andrew was still in the mix. Then came his disastrous BBC Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis.
Recorded inside the Blue Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, Andrew opened up about his connection to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein for the first time, as well as addressed allegations that he had sex with Virginia Giuffre Roberts when she was 17. In the sit-down, Andrew said he had “no recollection of ever meeting” her and, after Maitlis brought up a photo showing Andrew with his arm around Giuffre’s waist, Andrew said “I have absolutely no memory of that photograph ever being taken.”
The interview was, in a word, catastrophic; Andrew never recovered from it, and is now stripped of all royal duties. It is now being dramatized in Netflix’s forthcoming movie Scoop, starring Gillian Anderson as Maitlis and Rufus Sewell as Andrew—and we now have a trailer and a release date for the film: April 5. “To get an interview this big, you have to be bold,” Netflix captioned the clip on Twitter/X.
Scoop is based on the memoir of Sam McAlister (the producer who negotiated Andrew’s booking on the program), Scoops: Behind the Scenes of BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews; Netflix said, per People, that the movie will reveal “the story of the women who secured the scoop of the decade.”
The film’s official synopsis reads, per The Hollywood Reporter, “Inspired by real events, Scoop is the inside account of the tenacious journalism that landed an earth-shattering interview—Prince Andrew’s infamous BBC Newsnight appearance. From the tension of producer Sam McAlister’s high stakes negotiations with Buckingham Palace, all the way to Emily Maitlis’ jaw-dropping, forensic showdown with the Prince, Scoop takes us inside the story, with the women who would stop at nothing to get it.”
The film is directed by Philip Martin, a British television director and screenwriter who also worked on Netflix’s royal family drama The Crown. Anderson, for her part, also starred in the hit series, playing Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in season four of the show, and winning a Golden Globe and an Emmy for her performance.
“I want to put the audience inside the breathtaking sequence of events that led to the interview with Prince Andrew—to tell a story about a search for answers, in a world of speculation and varying recollections,” Martin said in a statement to Netflix about his vision for Scoop. “It’s a film about power, privilege, and differing perspectives and how—whether in glittering palaces or high-tech newsrooms—we judge what’s true.”
Though he continues to deny any wrongdoing, the fallout after “Prince Andrew & the Epstein Scandal: The Newsnight Interview” was swift. Andrew released a statement soon after the interview aired announcing his decision to “step back from public duties,” and in January 2022 was stripped of his military titles and patronages by his mother, Queen Elizabeth. An out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed amount was reached the next month, People reports.
And Scoop isn’t the only Newsnight-inspired feature in production. In November 2023, Variety reported that Amazon is working on a limited series called A Very Royal Scandal about the interview; this time, Ruth Wilson will play Maitlis, and Michael Sheen will play Andrew. Amazon has yet to reveal a release date.